Virology (Advanced) (VIRO3901)


This unit is available to students who have performed well in Intermediate Microbiology and is based on VIRO3001 with additional lectures related to the research interests in the Discipline. Consequently, the unit of study content may change from year to year. Viruses are some of the simplest biological machinery known yet they are also the etiological agents for some of the most important human diseases. New technologies that have revolutionised the discovery of viruses are also revealing a hitherto unappreciated abundance and diversity in the ecosphere, and a wider role in human health and disease. Developing new gene technologies have enabled the use of viruses as therapeutic agents, in novle vaccine approaches, gene delivery and in the treatment of cancer. This unit of study is designed to introduce students who have a basic understanding of molecular biology to the rapidly evolving field of virology. Viral infection in plant and animal cells and bacteria is covered by an examination of virus structure, genomes, gene expression and replication. Building upon these foundations, this unit progresses to examine host-virus interactions, pathogenesis, cell injury, the immune response and the prevention and control of infection and outbreaks. The structure and replication of sub-viral agents: viroids and prions, and their role in disease are also covered. The practical component provides hands-on experience in current diagnostic and research techniques such as molecular biology, cell culture, serological techniques, immunofluroescence and immunoblot and is designed to enhance the students' practical skills and complement the lecture series. Advanced lectures cover cutting-edge research in the field of virology in small group discussions.

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Further unit of study information


29 x 1-hour lectures, 7 x 4-hour practical classes, 4 x 1-hour tutorials


Pre-class assessment for practical classes: (5 x 1%), continuous assessment for practical classes: (3 x 2%), project assessment for practical classes: (7%), individual presentation on virology-themed research literature: (7%), theory of practical exam: (1


Dimmock, Easton and Leppard. Introduction to Modern Virology. 6th edition. Blackwell.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

At least 6 credit points of MBLG units and at least 6 credit points including one Distinction in Intermediate MICR or BCHM or BIOL or IMMU or PCOL or PHSI or PLNT units. For BMedSc: 18 credit points of BMED units including (BMED2401 and Distinction in BME

Assumed knowledge: MICR2021 or MICR2921 or MICR2022 or MICR2922



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Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

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